William Carey & Modern Missions: Recommended Resources

CHRISTIAN HISTORY asked Dr. Brian Stanley, lecturer in church history at Trinity College in Bristol, England, to recommend the best books on William Carey. Dr. Stanley is author of The Bible and the Flag: Protestant Missions and British Imperialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Apollos, 1990).

Biographies of Carey

• Eustace Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. (London, 1836). Written by Carey’s nephew soon after Carey’s death.

• George Smith, The Life of William Carey, D.D.: Shoemaker and Missionary (London, 1885). An account by a later Baptist missionary at Serampore, with many quotes from Carey’s letters and journals.

• S. Pearce Carey, William Carey, D.D., Fellow of Linnaean Society (London, 1923). Many consider this the standard biography.

• Timothy George, Faithful Witness: The Life and Mission of William Carey (New Hope, 1991). Focuses on Carey’s early years and shows Carey’s Calvinistic theology.

The Serampore Trio

• E. Daniel Potts, British Baptist Missionaries in India, 1793–1837: The History of Serampore and Its Missions (Cambridge, 1967). The best analysis of the work of the early Serampore mission.

• M. A. Laird, Missionaries and Education in Bengal, 1793–1837 (Clarendon, 1972). An indispensable discussion of the educational work of the mission, particularly the role of Serampore College.

• Brian Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992 (T. & T. Clark, 1992). Relates the origins of the Baptist Missionary Society and the unfortunate split between the society and Serampore.

America’s First foreign Missionaries: Adoniram Judson, Luther Rice, and other students from Andover (Massachusetts) Seminary are commissioned for services in 1812. Carey led a wave of British and American missions in the 1800s.

Additional Recommendations

The editors of Christian History also recommend the following:

• Mary Drewery, William Carey: A Biography (Zondervan, 1979). Drewery brings out the personal dimension of Carey’s life.

• Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions, 2nd ed. (Penguin, 1986). A standard.

• Kenneth Scott Latourette, The History of the Expansion of Christianity, 7 vols. (Zondervan, 1970). A thorough church history from the perspective of missions. A classic in the field.

• A Weaver’s Son: William Carey, 1761–1834, a 56-minute British documentary video by the Baptist Missionary Society. (Send £20.95 to CTVC, Hillside Studios, Merry Hill Road, Bushey, Watford WD2 1DR, U.K.)

• William Carey, a 90-minute feature film covering his life and achievements, to be released in September 1993. For information, contact Gateway Films (1–800–523–0226).

By Brian Stanley

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #36 in 1992]

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